09/01/2016 Washington, D.C.
(International Christian Concern
) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the first commercial flight in 50 years took off yesterday from Fort Lauderdale, FL. According to NBC News
, Jet Blue Airways will be the inaugural airline for commercial flights, followed by American Airlines, who will commence air service starting September 7. This news come after recent reports of Cuba’s severe crackdown on Christian churches throughout the island.
On August 16, Christian Solidarity Worldwide
(CSW-UK) reported that the Cuban government has begun the process of confiscating approximately 1,400 churches, with nearly 100 listed for demolition. CSW-UK has previously reported on the actions of the Cuban government against churches, particularly highlighting instances where church property (pews, chairs, audio and musical equipment) have been arbitrarily seized by government authorities.
In February, CSW-UK reported on the confiscation of Emmanuel Church, in eastern Cuba. The church was ransacked and subsequently demolished when its senior leader, Reverend Alain Toledano, was in the United States attending a religious event. Toledano’s family indicated that this was not the first time the government had attempted to infiltrate the church. Reverend Toledano’s home was also destroyed while nearly 200 church leaders and members were detained. Toledano’s experience is one of countless cases that exemplify the recent repression against Christians in the country.